Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life; if not through me, and no one can come to the Father" (John 14:6)

Isaiah 43:5

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west"

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Photos and More....

Lisa and Everybody else-look at all the pictures, aren't you proud of me?
This blog thing is a great way to communicate but the funny thing is you really have no idea just who reading it. I know when we were waiting I read every blog I can get my hands on just to share their story while waiting for ours to come about. So yesterday while we were waiting and we were in the final stretch to meet Cali, I thought I would hear some heavenly music or the theme from Rocky beginning to play. Well instead the stress level got a bit higher then I would have imagined. The kids energy level had them bouncing off the walls-literally. And I know my patience was running on low with Greg and the kids. So I made everyone lay on their beds at 3:15 and we waited for the phone to ring announcing Cali's arrival into the building. I tried praying and since Lily is three and my mind was spinning I could only sing (in my head) the songs from Boz. Not the music I had envisioned but we all know that God does have a sense of humor.
But I have got to say that the moment I saw her it really was magical. It was love at first sight, again. I just was so relieved to hold her. I prayed for so long that this was the right thing for Cali and for all of us. It is easy to say that God knows all and is He is perfect but for me meeting Cali was like having God walking right next to me holding my hand and bringing me to her.

CRAZY-today is the day!

Yes that is right we just landed in Fujian and I asked our guide what time we would meet Cali tomorrow and she said, "Oh, no you are here today so, your daughter will be here today!!!!!!!" What?!?! Now we are waiting in the room and it is 2:05 and they are supposed to be here at 3:00. The room bell has rang two or three times and each of the kids has a specific "camera" duty. One on video , two on still photos. Imagine house keeping and room service arriving at the room and they are met by three cameras and then the disappointment when it is not our VERY SPECIAL guest of honor. The hotel is beautiful and we are so very happy to be here. Did I say that TODAY IS THE DAY????!!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We are resting in the room now. I have posted several photos so click on "older posts" so that you can see them all. Shanghai is a lot cleaner than Beijing was two years ago. We shopped some and looked at the city. We walked around the river. We did not get nearly as much attention as when we were in Beijing, this is a good thing. People did stare at Lily, I think trying to figure out why the Chinese little girl was with Americans and speaking English. One shop keeper actually asked me if Lily was Chinese! When I told her yes, she said, oh so nice and gently rubbed Lily's cheek. As we are walking around our guide Laura keeps saying ,"oh, go into the shops, I will watch Lily out side" Needless to say that although our guide is very sweet and has good intentions Lily is always with one of the Brannons! The kids are traveling wonderfully. Shanghai reminds me of Chicago, in that it is a major city that has river through it with many very tall buildings. Ofcourse the are many more people and many of the buildings are much older. We leave Shanghai early tomorrow and fly off to Fujian, Cali's province.

We are in Shanghai

Does this need translation?

Yes, there is popcorn in Shanghai

Did anyone ever look so happy eating breakfast?

Photos from Shanghai

Friday, August 29, 2008

We are in Shanghai

Praise God! We are in Shanghai! The flights were great. Lily did wonderful on the flights. We will be touring today. We ate a great breakfast in a beautiful resturant. Madison and Peter got a chance to "talk" to their friends on our computer so they were happy too. We spoke to my mom, Greg's mom and Tylar to say a quick hello.
Lily asked if all the people on the plane were flying to meet Cali. When I told her no, she said oh, "they are getting their own babies" Lily also needed two bags of gold fish on the plane, one for her and one for Cali. Most things now she needs one for her and one for Cali. I so hope she wants to share that much when we get Cali ;-). I think she expected Cali to be at the airport to meet us, oh well just a couple more days for all of us to hold her in our arms. We will post photos later of our day. Just wanted to let you know, we are safe, happy and doing so well. Thank you for praying. God is so much better to us than we deserve.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our bags are packed...

and ready to go...Yes Lily will be wearing a princess gown on the plane...oh to be three again...life is good...God is great...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The packaging has begun in earnest. I have been gathering things like a squirrel getting ready for the winter but now things are going into the suitcases. I am struggling a bit with the 40 lb. weight limit but I will make it work. A friend has volunteered to take us to the airport at 4:45am-thank you Jonathon! Yeah only 4 more days until we depart!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


On Wednesday night my dear friends from our group, "James 1:27" surprised me with a "toddler shower" These women are so very special to me. Their hearts for orphans are so huge. They have shared with me and guided me through the journey of now two adoptions. If some of your gifts are not in the photo, it is because Lily is "watching" the gift for Cali. I thank you ladies for your friendship, laughter and prayers as we travel to China to bring home another child that God has chosen so perfectly for our family.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. " james 1:27

Friday, August 15, 2008

Every call has a beginning
A quiet moment when God
whispers a promise to a mother’s heart
A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts
the journey set before him.
A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns…
Casting its first light on a chosen threshold.
A gentle knock..a closed door opens.
A sacred invitation sent by the Father..
Leads to the other side of the world.
Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows
Praying for someone to care..
And then one morning,
On an ordinary day
An orphan’s life changes...
God sends them a second chance...Through you..

--author unknown

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What can I say...Number 1 daughter is moving into her dorm this weekend. I pray that she fully depends on God for HIS wisdom and protection. It is an exciting time in her life that I feel blessed to be a part. I love you, Tylar Emily!!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

All of our reservations have been finalized and paid for. We will be staying in Shanghai two nights, fly to Fujian-Cali's province. We will stay in Fuzhou,Fujian for 6 nights. We fly onto Guangzhou. In Guangzhou will will receive Cali's visa to enter the US, go to the US Embassy and visit the medical clinic for Cali's exam. I remember when we went to the clinic for Lily's adoption, since she was so chubby, the doctors kissed her cheeks before handing her back to me. When we arrive on US soil she becomes a US citizen. Please pray for Cali as we prepare to bring her home. Her emotions may range from fear, sadness, grief, excitement, exhaustion and hopefully happiness. I pray that God enables us to be the parents that He wants us to be for Cali. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me...

Monday, August 04, 2008

American Airlines Limited Special Airfare

Venture across the Pacific to one of China's most modern cities - Shanghai! For a limited time, flights to Shanghai are on sale. It's the perfect opportunity to take an unforgettable trip and save some cash! Hurry, great deals don't last forever, purchase your flight by August 5, 2008, to save! Fares are valid for outbound travel August 26 through November 30, 2008. All travel must be complete by December 30, 2008.
Can you believe this.... God is so good to us. Notice the dates of the special August 26 -Nov, 30 and flights had to purchased by August 5th. We fell right into these dates and we got the special fare for our entire family. Incredible considering I looked into fares a few weeks ago and they were up to $4000 per coach ticket. We are paying around $1000 per ticket. Wow!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lily at the beach

That's my boy!

Helping Hands

Yes folks, that is permanent paint. I was busy in my room getting things organized and I should have known better when Lily was so quiet. Oh well....these really are the good days.....

Follow our journey on the map:
Shanghai 8/28
Fuzhou 9/1
Guangzhou 9/8
Home 9/11

CA confirmation!

I am so happy to say we have received our Consulate Appointment-CA confirmation!
We will depart the US on August 28
Arrive in Shanghai on August 29
Fly to Fuzhou,Fujian on August 31
GOTCHA DAY September 1st - Labor Day!
We will spend a week loving on Cali in her province of Fujian